With just over a month for the presidential elections April 10, former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo continues to lead comfortably vote intention according to the latest public opinion polls. Lawmaker Keiko Fujimori and former Lima mayor Luis Castañeda are runner ups but ten points below.
The Datum poll shows Toledo with 29% vote intention (up one percentage point) while Ms Fujimori and Castañeda are tied at 18%, having lost one percentage point from the previous poll. Ultra nationalist Ollanta Humala, (who lost to current president Alan Garcia in the run-off in 2006) figures with 13% (up two percentage points) and liberal economist Pablo Kuczynski is also up two full points from 5% to 7%.
Toledo, who has been travelling over the past few days in the northern areas of the country, where there is a lack of hospitals, roads and other basic services, is running again for the presidency claiming to be wanting to finish the social reforms that have remained pending after his first government (2001-2006), in a country where poverty affects at least 34% of some 30 million inhabitants.
Toledo has promised higher taxes on the rich and on windfall earnings from mining companies (though without modifying contracts). In the last eight years Peru has benefited from the commodities boom as a strong exporter of basic metals and gas.
The poll also indicated that 56% of interviewed Peruvians believe the next president will be Alejandro Toledo. Nevertheless the Toledo team is concerned because in the event of a run-off, as seems most possible, Castañeda could turn into a surprise, not so Ms Fujimori.
“The big surprise is the advance of Kuczynzki and Humala, but particularly the liberal economist. Humala is seen as an establishment politician”, said Manuel Torrado, head of Datum.
The Datum poll interviewed 1.233 people in the main Peruvian cities and regions with a margin error of plus/minus 2.8%.
The poll also showed that 85% of Peruvians have a negative impression of President Alan Garcia, and they do not wish him to run for a possible re-election in 2016, in spite of the successes of the Peruvian economy, García has been unable to capitalize on the performance.